Abu Dhabi-UAE. 28 September 2021 – The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), the global leader in pre-emptive species conservation, will put education in the spotlight at this year’s Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX), to showcase the Fund’s evolution across 40 years of pioneering conservation efforts.
The Fund, which celebrates 15 years since its formation this year, will announce a range of youth and student-focused education initiatives and also unveil a new website, all from its majestic exhibitor stand that has a live houbara pen where people can interact with the emblematic but vulnerable shy bird species.
Stories from our Environment
At the region’s flagship hunting and equestrian event, IFHC will publish a collection of short stories written by 15 groups of K-12 students from across the UAE. The collection, called ‘Stories from our Environment’, is the culmination of a nationwide writing and illustration competition that tasked teams of writers, illustrators and editors to capture the importance of the houbara bustard to the country’s heritage in literary form.
The competition saw more than 60 schools submit imagination-filled entries to the IFHC’s panel of judges, from which 30 were shortlisted, and 15 made it all the way to publication. The final book is available for visitors to see on the IFHC stand.
University Literary Winners
IFHC will also announce the three winners of its Writing Workshop, which saw university students from across the UAE draft and submit 1,000-word short stories after attending a two-day virtual workshop held in July with Emirati author Eissa Al Awadi and Hamda Al Ameri, Senior Specialist of Awareness at the Fund’s Education and Outreach Department. The combination of creative writing taught by Al Awadi and the knowledge of the houbara bustard imparted by Al Ameri, provided students with the tools and understanding to create some emotive and compelling short stories.
And in an effort to redefine the online conservationist experience and refresh the image of the houbara, IFHC will also launch a new website that offers a plethora of interactive features and education materials for conservationists to engage with the vulnerable species – from becoming a houbara ambassador, to taking part in breeding and release programmes and experiencing the historic tale of the houbara, brought to life through a series of animated stories.
His Excellency Mohammed Saleh Al Baidani, Director General at the IFHC, said: “Our participation in ADIHEX 2021 comes within the framework of our commitment to saving and conserving the houbara, as it is an integral part of our cultural heritage.
“We are dedicated to educating people about the need to protect the vulnerable houbara by conducting promising scientific research to further enhance our conservation efforts of the Asian and North African houbara. Live Asian houbara will be on display out our stand at ADIHEX.”
Al Baidani attributed IFHC’s four decades of conservation success to its cooperative approach which has seen the Fund forge ties with countries across the MENA region, as well as in Europe and Asia.
“It is because of our extensive cooperation with scientists and researchers of various countries, that we have been able to ensure a long-term conservation of these endangered birds,” he added.
The Fund has regularly participated in the exhibition over the past 10 years, highlighting its conservation efforts and educating the public about the importance of sustainable hunting.
The Fund is an official sponsor of ADIHEX, which is organised by the Emirates Falconers’ Club.